MARYVALE, AZ — Community organizer Manny Trejo and Phoenix State Representative Reginald Bolding are going door-to-door in Maryvale to gather support for “Our Voice, Our Vote Arizona.”
The group is a statewide organization which aims to hold elected official accountable, train the next generation of leaders and get people to vote in November. “We’ll be targeting 200,000 voters this election cycle,” Bolding says.
Racially mixed and politically diverse Legislative District 20 is as good a place as any for Our Voice, Our Vote Arizona to focus its voter outreach.
“One of the things we want to make sure of,” Bolding says, “is voters who are part of the new American majority, people of color, millennials, women, those who have been historically under represented, we want to make sure they go to the polls and have their voices heard.”
Trejo and Bolding are targeting Democrats who would be open to a progressive message. So, their pitch is often met with cynicism. Still in this time of polarized politics, Trejo says any face to face encounter with a voter is important. “I think those conversations are especially rich,” he says, “because they’re going to hear my perspective. I’m going to hear their perspective. It turns into a conversation.”
Bolding says most people they contact are excited to engage in the conversation. “I keep an open mind. I don’t go for all this craziness and I pay attention to everything,” said one resident the pair visited.
Bolding believes the more people they meet the more likely they’ll vote. But making those contacts is challenging - not everyone answers the door and not everyone knows their vote can make a difference.
“When you are not civically engaged or you haven’t grown up in a household that is,” Trejo says, “how are you supposed to know why it’s important to vote?”